In early July, the 10th Mountain Division backcountry huts are available for summer use. I typically Nordic ski to at least one hut during the winter. Most of the 10th Mountain Huts are located at around 11,000 feet or higher and may involve up to a 10-mile ski with climbing skins. The Eiseman Hut is one of those huts that involves a long and steep ascent, both in winter and summer. I planned on reaching the hut after about 2 hours of uphill bicycling, but due to very bad directions from a passing 4×4 jeep, my jaunt stretched to 20-miles and nearly 4 hours of truly exceptional climbing. Rule number one to backcountry travel–always carry a map! My map was true, the directions from the humans were not.
The hut can sleep a large group of people. I ended up having the place completely to my self. That was fine–except at around 2 AM I kept waking up and thinking someone was walking around the hut–but the noise was due to the wind blowing stuff around on the roof and wooden deck.
I used the route as a high altitude training ride in preparation for a strenuous 100+ mile self-supported multi-day bikepacking trip to the Utah desert. But who am I kidding, I’ve never gone on a bike packing trip that did not involve suffering of some kind. I think that is part of the appeal of this sport–going to way out there places that simply are hard to reach.
A power breakfast of oatmeal, dried blueberries, and almond milk. On a separate note, even in the middle of summer, the mountains can be cold at night, especially at high elevation. It was 40 degrees at 6:30 in the morning in mid-July.